Free Press Journal

Maharashtra Government “partly accepts” the Adarsh Scam report


New Delhi: Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Thursday said  that his government has “partly accepted,” a report on the Adarsh Housing Scam.

Chavan issued his statement five days after Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had indirectly censured the Maharashtra Government for rejecting the report.

“Some of the points raised by the retired judge that investigated the scandal have been accepted, and a committee may be formed to decide future action,” said Chavan.

He further said that legal action would be taken against 25 ineligible members of the housing society.

The report was investigated by a two-member committee that had indicted four former chief ministers of Maharashtra, all of who were members of the Congress, including Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.

The Maharashtra Government had on December 20 rejected the report of the judicial commission of inquiry on the Adarsh scam, tabled in the Legislative Assembly.

The report of the two-member commission headed by retired High Court judge JA Patil indicted several politicians including four former chief ministers-Ashok Chavan, late Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushilkumar Shinde and Shivajirao Nilangekar Patil- for blatant violations of statutory provisions.

Several bureaucrats were also indicted in the report.

However, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi last week disapproved of the decision of the state government to reject the commission report and said it should be reconsidered.

On December 27, in a press conference, Gandhi, when asked a question about the Maharashtra Government’s decision to reject the report on the Adarsh Housing Society scam had said that it was his personal opinion that the ruling on the report needed to be revisited, and was all for action to be taken against those indicted.

“There is no question of protecting anyone or anybody in connection with the Adarsh Housing Society scam,” Gandhi had said.

The Adarsh Housing Society is a cooperative society in Mumbai. The origins of the scam go back to February 2002 when a request was made to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra to allot land in the heart of Mumbai for the construction of a housing complex for “the welfare of serving and retired personnel of the Defence Services”.

Over a period of ten years, top politicians, bureaucrats and military officers proceeded to bend several rules and perpetrate various acts of omission and commission in order to have the building constructed and then get themselves allotted flats on this premier property at artificially lowered prices.

As the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India to the President of India in 2011 put it, “The episode of Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society reveals how a group of select officials, placed in key posts, could subvert rules and regulations in order to grab prime government land- a public property- for personal benefit.”

The Adarsh society high-rise was constructed in the Colaba locality of Mumbai, which is considered a sensitive coastal area by the Indian Defence forces and houses various Indian Defense establishments.

The society is also alleged to have violated the Indian environment ministry rules.

Several inquiries have been ordered by the army and the Government to probe into the irregularities.